GOLF : Race to Dubai contender Rory McIlroy will take out a full US PGA Tour card next season but insists the move will not affect his commitment to Europe.
Race to Dubai contender Rory McIlroy will take out a full US PGA Tour card next season but insists the move will not affect his commitment to Europe.
Mixed messages have recently emerged from the McIlroy camp over the move, but the world number 17 confirmed the decision on Tuesday ahead of this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
“My decision is not that much of a big deal and besides, I am only adding a couple of more events, and besides the European Tour is still my home tour,” he said.
“So I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea that I am just going away to America because that is not what I am planning.
“I just feel that I will become a better golfer if I also play in America. I will be playing in world-class fields with more world ranking points on offer, and the only way for me to get better is to play alongside better players.
“And on paper, at this moment, there are 16 better players than me in the world.”
McIlroy has indicated next year he will play in Abu Dhabi and Dubai at the start of the year before heading stateside to prepare for The Masters.
After the US Open he will return for the Irish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the Scottish Open before The Open at St Andrews in July with additional events added after the completion of the FedEx Cup series to maintain his 2010 Race to Dubai bid before the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
“I can’t thank the European Tour enough but I am just in a privileged position where I play wherever I want, and besides I earned enough money in US Tour events to get my card so I have taken out membership,” he added.
“I want to become a better player and the best way to develop my game is to be playing more in the States, and playing a worldwide schedule.”